Americans’ faith in our institutions of government are at a low. We know our government is divided on almost every issue and our leaders are too often rewarded for their partisanship.
That’s why I want to spotlight Sen. Thom Tillis for his bipartisan effort to boost our economy and help businesses create jobs. He should be recognized that he is doing this despite being in a Republican primary election — the ultimate excuse for risk adverse politicians. Instead, Sen. Tillis is leading despite the partisan traps and for that I hope he is recognized and respected.
Sen. Tillis’ bill will reauthorize the federal Export-Import Bank, a small government agency that helps American businesses sell their goods overseas. This month, EXIM’s charter will expire, leaving American businesses in an unfair competition exporting their goods overseas — often competing against foreign companies that have their governments actively working alongside them, if not outright subsidizing them.
EXIM has provided financing and insurance products for more than 85 years and been supported broadly across both parties. But now, because of a small group of partisan extremists both inside and outside of Congress, EXIM’s mission is in jeopardy. As a result, businesses across the country are at risk of losing business and cutting thousands of jobs.
In fact, 95% of the world’s customers are outside the U.S., and American companies stand to lose $40 billion in export sales in the pipeline and the 240,000 jobs those sales support if EXIM is not reauthorized. America’s ability to offer this financing internationally drives significant economic growth here at home.
In the past five years, the EXIM Bank supported nearly $2 billion in exports and more 10,000 jobs from 152 North Carolina businesses, including 122 small businesses like mine. Workers at these companies manufacture heavy machinery, support transportation infrastructure projects, and refine chemicals, metals, and ore and minerals.
My company, Lexair, is a supplier of communication technology and devices. Some of our customers rely on the EXIM Bank to remain competitive in the global marketplace. We know from past experience that our business here in North Carolina